Friday, May 6, 2011

What can Dalton McGuinty be thinking?

With a provincial general election coming this fall, we get news that Premier Dalton McGuinty has cut a secret deal with the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU) giving 38,000 employees an additional one percent wage increase, which some are describing as a “secret” top up to OPSEU’s already scheduled wage increase of two per cent for 2012.

Apparently, the deal is detailed in letters from the Ministry of Government Services to OPSEU. In a letter dated Dec. 23, 2008, a government official says the one-per-cent increase will not be part of the collective agreement.

When the documents were entered at a hearing before the Ontario Labour Relations Board, revealing the “secret deal” with OPSEU, government lawyers argued to retain the secrecy around the unusual accord, telling Diane Gee, chairwoman of the hearing, that there would be “significant detrimental impact” on labour relations if confidential agreements were disclosed. Fortunately for those of us who believe in transparency in government actions, Ms. Gee disagreed, asserting that open proceedings are a cornerstone of Canada’s justice system.

The generosity of the deal—which is well above the annual inflation rate—flies in the face of the McGuinty government’s pronouncements favouring a voluntary two-year wage freeze for public sector workers who bargain collectively.

For how many more secret backroom deals like this are the Ontario taxpayers on the hook? According to the Globe and Mail,

“David Musyj, chief executive officer of Windsor Regional Hospital, wondered whether other settlements negotiated by the government also contain ‘side deals.’ He said the deal makes it difficult for him to continue preaching restraint at his hospital, where non-unionized workers’ pay has been frozen for five years.”

This is just one more of many examples of the McGuinty government telling voters one thing and secretly doing something quite different. We, I suppose, can expect this trend to accelerate in the run up to the Oct. 6 election.


© 2011 Russell G. Campbell
All rights reserved.


  1. I wonder if they had a straight face when they claimed it would be the labour negotiations, and not the government's public image, which would be harmed by this disclosure. Sheesh.

  2. The incoming Premier can impose a wage and benefit freeze for five years (at least) to keep the budget under control and fight the deficit.

    The Canadian Forces had to do this for seven years in the 1990's as part of the "Decade of Darkness", the federal deficit was brought under control through these sorts of means so there is an honourable precedent to be followed here. (And since the base pay of soldiers is quite a bit lower than civil service pay, stop and think about trying to raise a family for seven years with no pay raise. The nominal rates of inflation and interest in the 1990s were still high enough to take a huge bite out of service member's already low pay, something OPSEU workers won't have to contend with).

  3. Look, wake up man!!! Hudak is NOT a fiscal Conservative.

    Billions being down the toilet and into Quebec in the cap and trade, green scam going on behind closed doors…. Go take a look at all the parts (wind mills…) that are being made in Quebec, you will be shocked at how much of this phony green scam is being run from Quebec.$$$

    Now we know how much debt Ontario is now in thanks to McGuinty and all this spending, taxes, fees… salaries, and hiring in government. A complete disaster for over 7 years now.

    My biggest concern is what the hell are the so-called conservatives going to do about it? Go look at their website. Just sick!!! No policies, no platform, nothing. They have had 7 years to come up with ideas to reduce taxes. To downsize government, to get rid of expensive liberal waste or at least tell us what they would repeal…again nothing. All they do get on air and bash the liberals, liberals bad, taxes bad, hydro rates bad, Mcguinty bad… They have no solutions. Will a new new, fiscally responsible premier eradicate the parasitic unions and left-bias arbitrators, eliminate or privatize programs, abolish the “green energy program”, purge departments, boards, and commissions, sell highways, privatize some of the peripheral health care services, and reform a number of the current “universal” entitlement programs to programs that require “means testing.” ????

    Let’s start an adult conversation pursuant to eliminating the deficit and the $220 billion debt, decreasing taxes and, a genuine, small-c fiscal/social platform. The Cons of Ontario stand for nothing…They want to win by default!!! Wake the fuck up people!!!

    We are sick and tired of the same old do nothing bs coming from all mainstream parties. I will not vote conservative because they stand for nothing just like the liberals. All they do is spend, spend, spend…one disaster after another, more and more debt… You wonder why people are not voting??? Vote for what, the same bs, spin, lies…just pathetic, all of you.

    Solution? Well there is only one. A new party and a new leader. People from the private sector with no relationship to any of the mainstream parties…One that details before an election what they stand for. We need a party with specific, fiscally conservative policies. One that defines essential and non-essential (expensive waste) services in a platform before elections. One that will cut waste, reduce taxes, eliminate departments, downsize government…repeal bad laws (the charter, bilingual, multicultural…)…One that will tell unions to rot in hell. No more lies, propaganda, and spin, what we now get on a daily basis. Canada needs a party that stands for integrity, honesty, transparency and common sense. One that is proud of our real BNA history.


  4. Anon 1:25 pm (T),

    "Let’s start an adult conversation"? Really?

    Nothing "adult" about your comment style; just a long angry screed.

    Just saying.

  5. Maybe the Dolt doesn't have to worry too much as Hudak has back tracked already.